How Does a Semi-Truck Driver’s Hours of Service Affect My Iowa Personal Injury Claim?

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Posted by Tim Semelroth

A semi-truck driver is responsible for safe driving while transporting goods on our roads.  They must follow hours of service rules so they stay safe while driving.  But how do these regulations affect you if you have been injured in a truck accident in Iowa?

What Are Hours Of Service Regulations?

Hours of service regulations are federal regulations that limit when and how long a truck driver can be on the road.  These regulations were created to ensure drivers stay awake and alert while driving.  The hours of service rules must be followed by anyone who meets the following criteria:

  • Drives a semi-truck for business reasons, and
  • If the truck weighs over 10,000 pounds, or
  • If they are transporting hazardous materials

Some truckers will break these hours of service rules and drive when they shouldn’t be on the road. They falsify their driving records to make it appear they are following the rules.

Trucking accidents happen when fatigued semi-truck drivers lose concentration or fall asleep at the wheel.  Because of the size difference between a tractor-trailer and a personal vehicle, you or your family can be seriously injured or killed if you are hit by a semi.  That’s why it’s such a serious offense when a semi-truck driver violates the hours of service regulations.

Most trucking companies have moved from tracking hours of service on paper to electronic logging devices.  This doesn’t mean falsifying hours of service won’t still happen – there are many tricks used in the industry to hide hours of service violations.

How an Iowa Semi-Truck Accident Attorney Can Help With Your Case

If you think the truck driver who hit you was fatigued, speak with an experienced Iowa semi-truck accident attorney.  Trucking accidents are very different than car accidents.  It’s important you consult with a lawyer that is experienced in semi-truck crashes.

Your Iowa truck accident attorney must send a special certified letter to the trucking company and other responsible parties.  This letter will tell the trucker and his or her company that they cannot destroy evidence related to the crash.  Your attorney will collect the following information:

  • Hours of service records
  • Cell phone data
  • GPS data
  • Semi maintenance records and more.

This evidence is reviewed to see if there are discrepancies in the hours that the truck driver recorded.  These discrepancies could mean that the truck driver was breaking the hours of service regulations.  If the truck driver was breaking the rules, your Iowa personal injury lawyer can prove it through these inconsistencies.

Your Truck Crash Evidence Can Be Legally Destroyed

Hours of service records can be legally destroyed six months after a crash if your attorney doesn’t send a certified preservation letter.  That’s why it’s so important to contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as you can after your crash.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a semi-truck accident, time is of the essence.  Call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783 and get your free, no-obligation case evaluation today.

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